Last week was our final rehearsal for our Winter Solstice on Yarra Bend Concert, with Melbourne composers Andrea Keeble and Adam Simmons attending, putting final touches on their pieces which we will be performing.  We also welcome Shakuhachi Melbourne as special guests for the concert.

Please join us tonight (Thursday June 21) at 7:30 pm, at the AIDS Memorial Chapel, Melbourne Polytechnic – Fairfield campus, Yarra Bend Road Fairfield. Entry is by donation.

2018 Concert Poster winter-solstice-yarra-bendWinter

At this week’s Yarra Bend Workshop, Richard van Hoesel played his waterphone solo for Adam Simmons’ work String.

The waterphone is a percussion instrument with water in the base that creates moving, bending tones.  Richard, usually a Squawkestra cellist, bows the bronze rods to create mysterious, etherial sounds similar to whale calls – or the scary moments in a horror film sound track!  His instrument is a bit different from the usual waterphone, as it comprises two waterphones, one stacked on top of the other.  Click here for a sample of Richard’s playing.

We will be performing String at our Winter Solstice Concert at Melbourne Polytechnic (Fairfield Campus) on June 21st.

waterphone 500

Richard’s “Double” Waterphone

As part of our Yarra Bend Workshop Series, last week we were joined by composer and violinist, Andrea Keeble.  Andrea lead us through her work The Crossing, originally written for a 3MBS competition, and recently arranged for Squawkestra.  It was wonderful to learn from Andrea the history and inspiration for the piece, and get her insights and advice on technique.

We will be performing The Crossing at our Winter Solstice Concert at Melbourne Polytechnic (Fairfield Campus) on June 21st.

2018 Squawkestra flyer

City2Sea Fun Run – Nov 15

Sunday Age City2Sea Fun Run

Sunday 15th November 2015

Where: Somewhere on the course from Yarra Park to Catani Gardens

Time: Sometime between 7:00 am – 12:00 pm

Date: Sunday 15th November, 2015



Hey Jgazitsad

Donna Donna

Sto Me

Night on the River


Chariots of Fire

What to Wear

Fun Bright Colours

Other Things to consider:

We may repeat the set

What to Bring

This is an outdoor concert. Be prepared for all weather conditions. I am hoping that we will be under cover, however we may not be. You will not be expected to perform in wet weather.

!!**Pegs to hold your music**!!

Sun cream

Sun glasses

A steady music stand

Cellos may be required to bring a stool

Water bottles

Small bag of belongings that you can keep on you while performing as there is no storage area


Adam Simmons 

Orchestra workshop series and concert

$25 for non-Squawkestra members. Free for Squawkestra members

Thursday April 2 and Thursday April 16 at Northcote Uniting Church (251 High st Northcote) 

7:00 – 9:00 pm


Thursday April 30

7:30 Northcote Uniting Church

Hear a performace outcome from the workshop series

During the workshop series, participants will be exploring Conduction, a unique form of improvisation ideal for ensemble players. Here’s what Adam has to say about Conduction.


“Conduction” is a system of hand gestures that the conductor uses to compose on-the-spot. Adam Simmons learnt directly from its creator, Lawrence “Butch” Morris (USA) in 2005. Since then, Adam has used it with professional and amateur ensembles, often using it to bring disparate instruments, abilities and ages together in creating a truly communal music. “Conduction” is a fantastic tool for encouraging improvising and musical creativity to those who have trouble getting away from “the dots”, while giving the opportunity for those who do improvise to push themselves further. Basically, the workshops teach the gestural language” or “words”, which then get used to create musical “stories”. In workshops, Adam uses “Conduction” to help develop an ensemble’s cohesion and understanding of working together, which can then be applied to more conventional music-making.

Squawkestra is looking forward to working with Adam Simmons this year in an exciting workshop series. We are opening our doors and inviting folks to join us for a this 3 week series. If you are not a member come along to try it out.


Squawkestra presents

Adam Simmons

Orchestra workshop series and Concert

Join Squawkestra in a unique workshop series with Adam Simmons.

A three week workshop series with a performance outcome.

Workshop participants will discover ‘Conduction’, a powerful system of hand gestures used to spontaneously compose. The technique, developed by Lawrence ‘Butch’ Morris, brings together professional and beginner instrumentalists creating music that is unique to the ensemble. Workshop participants will also learn selected movements from ‘Traveling Tales’ a suite written by Adam for the Intari Orchestra and first performed in the Piraeus Festival, Athens in 2014.

Adam Simmons is a sought after woodwind multi-instrumentalist. He is a composer, performer and teacher. A skillful player, with an approachable manner, he instills a sense of curiosity among his audience and students. He is key instigator in many original music projects (Adam Simmons Toy Band, BOLT Ensemble, Origami). He is in high demand as collaborator with International and Major Australian artists (Nigel Kennedy, Australian Art Orchestra, Ernest Ranglin, You Am I, Odean Pope). He is the Artistic Director and creator of the Festival of Slow Music (Ballarat.)

Squawkestra is a community orchestra project based in Northcote and conducted by Katrina Wilson O’Brien. The orchestra is a place to discover a breadth of ensemble repertoire at an entry level standard.

This 3 week workshop and performance series is for orchestral instrumentalists of all standard. Current and future members of Squawkestra welcome to attend.

Workshop dates:

Thursday April 2

Thursday April 16

Northcote Uniting Church

7:00 – 9:00 pm

Final performance

April 30


Northcote Uniting Church

Workshop participation

FREE for Squawkestra members

$25 for future Squawkestra members

Adam also played Traveling Tales at the 2014 Ballarat Quiet Music Festival with Ballarat Symphony Orchestra as seen in the photos below. Love the socks Adam!


Melodie Francaise Concert- 2013

Melodie Francaise Concert- 2013

Conducted by Andrea Keeble and blessed with the light of God.